The Tempest: The Interplay between Time, Power, and Supernatural In The Tempest, William Shakespeare portrays multiple themes that are highlighted as the play progresses. He includes the recurring themes of time, struggle for power, and the supernatural. Prospero, and his servant, Ariel, magically conduct a tremendous storm, which forces the shipmates to land on his island. Prospero, the characters on the shipwreck, and Caliban, and Ariel spend most of the play reacting to this event. Caliban’s character represents a struggle to regain his power, while Ariel has a particular influence on the subsequent plot that relates to the themes of time and the supernatural. A consistent theme throughout The Tempest, is Ariel’s significant role of carrying out Prospero’s powerful mission. Ariel’s presence provides a drama that is calming and mystical. When Ariel is first introduced in beginning of the play he says to Prospero: All hail, great master! Grave sir, hail! I come
To answer thy best pleasure. Be’t to fly,
To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride
On the curled clouds to thy strong bidding task
Ariel and all his quality (The Tempest 1.2.224-228).
Ariel’s courageous character introduces the concept of magic and supernatural to the play. His presence creates a major storm on King Alonso's boat. Ariel says, “I boarded the King’s ship; now on the beak, / Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin, /I flamed amazement” (1.2.232-234). By generating this storm, Ariel powerfully influences Alonso’s journey and the ultimate arrival of Ferdinand. The storm was conjured up in such a magical way that not a soul was harmed, and “Not a hair perished” (1.2.258). In addition, the shipmates clothing remained fresh, even after the chaotic storm. Throughout the play, as Ariel puts Prospero’s magic into action, he appears in different...
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Shakespeare, William, Barbara A. Mowat, and Paul Werstine. The Tempest. New York:
Washington Square, 2004. Print.
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